Pusser’s Navy Rum “Nelson’s Blood” Aged 15 Years

Pussers 15 Years Nelsons Blood review by the fat rum piratePusser’s “Nelson’s Blood” Aged 15 Years is their marquee expression.  I think, (and I will get this all confirmed) that the rum is a different blend to the Blue Label.  It is not just a more aged version of it.  However, I also understand that despite this it is still a blend of Trini rum with a hefty dose of the famous Port Mourant wooden still distillate.

One of the difficulties with being a prolific rum reviewer, ahem is that you often misplace information and in between intoxication and sobriety returning some bugger turns the Interweb upside down and you can no longer find that wonderful resource of information.  Clearly the sober reviewer would bookmark such sites……or remember their names.   So if any of my information is a bit muddled please let me know.  Apologies for the lack of concrete information but I am in discussion with Pusser’s marketing director Laura Addis and she will soon put me straight.

Onto the bottle and its a lot different to the Blue Label. It is rounder with a shorter neck.  The wonderfully unique blue topped synthetic stopper of the Blue Label is not present and instead we have a plain black real cork stopper.  The general presentation of Pussers is unique in the rum world.  As is the heritage of the rum.  I sincerely doubt any other 15 Year Old Aged Rum would be packaged in something quite like this.  Now if it wasn’t for the British Navy links this rums packaging would seem almost gaudy and slightly cheap.  Yet because it is Pusser’s Navy Rum it seems only fitting. It’s bright and punchy and you can tell the rum inside isn’t going to be messing about.

Pussers 15 Year Old costs between £40 and £50 in the UK for a 70cl bottle (it’s worth shopping around).  Unlike the “old” UK Blue Label or the “new” Gunpowder Proof Black Label (same rum new packaging) it is not bottled at Navy Strength.  Rather than being 54.5% ABV (109 proof) it is bottled at 40% ABV (80 proof).

Now I’ve already touched upon the difficulties of research and the problems encountered by having to drink on the job.  So just to let you all know at this stage in proceedings I am yet to have a drop of alcohol today.  As with all my reviews I have already spent some time with the “Nelson’s Blood”.  For the purposes of this review I am also going to make reference to Pussers Blue Label (again) and I will also be taking in a few drops of another rum which I feel has similarities to Pusser’s 15.

So on with the tasting.  The rum presents itself as a deep brown with vibrant flashes of red.  It is nigh on identical to the Pussers Blue Label.  On the nose, again it has that very distinctive rich fruity slightly malt like nose.  The nose is sweeter than the Blue Label and it also has a hint of varnish.  Lovers of Pusser’s will be pleased to learn that this rum, despite its sweetness still displays that full frontal assault on the senses which suggests the rum should be respected.  Sip with caution!

The nose is much richer than the Blue Label, it is almost treacly, deep dark molasses which reminds me a little of the richness of Myers’s but with a Demerara sweetness as opposed to Jamaican funk.  It’s almost like a concentrate.  It makes you want to divePussers 15 Years Nelsons Blood review by the fat rum pirate into the rum.

The mystery rum I alluded to earlier in the piece is a 1990 Port Morant from Bristol Classic Rum.  Whilst the taste of these rums is very different (the Bristol has an almost earthy note to it where Pusser’s imparts intense sweetness) the nose is very similar.  I had thought prior to tasting them side by side that the rums were quite similar but I now know it was my sense of smell playing tricks on me.  The influence of smell should not be underestimated.

So on with the tasting (check out the cool coasters in the pic’s). Tasting these three rums side by side has been an enlightening experience.  I have always considered Pusser’s Blue Label to be quite sweet but sipping it alongside the 15 it is found to be almost bitter.  Compared to the Bristol Port Morant it is almost like drinking rum cream!

Now before you take my previous paragraph as a criticism let me explain.  It’s simple really.  I like sweet rum.  I add sweetener to my coffee.  I like sugar on my corn flakes.  I don’t like whisky.  I don’t like gin.  Oh and I exaggerated about the rum cream.  Pussers 15 does have added sugar as confirmed by the tests of Johnny Drejer but that doesn’t mean it will be dismissed as a bad rum.

Pusser’s 15 is sweeter than the Blue Label but at the same time it still has all those characteristics that you so enjoy.  It has the wonderful complex fruity nose, which has just enough character to make you have a couple of ice cubes on hand….just in case.  Despite its sweetness the rum is initially quite challenging.

The flavour bursts through it is rich and fruity but it also has that dry almost whisky like note.  Despite all the upfront sweetness the rum gives a very spicy burn on the way down.  Despite the ageing the rum still has that manly kick in the nuts type feel to it.  I have seen one review (Lance over at The Lone Caner) describe Pusser’s as an “unapologetic bruiser”  I couldn’t have put it any better myself (which is why I’ve nicked it).  It’s one the booziest rums I have tried.

The trick with sipping the Pusser’s 15 is to let the first few sips coat your palate.  I’ve only had a very small amount and already the fiery burn is subduing and I am getting more flavour and less spicy burn.  A few sips also relieves the dry whisky like note. It’s now more like a cognac or brandy.  I hate comparisons to other spirits but Pusser’s is so complex that you just can’t help it.  Despite all these comparisons you are never in any doubt that you are drinking something which could have been used to splice the mainbrace time and time again!  Having said that this rum is not the same blend which the British Royal Navy sailed on.

Pussers 15 Years Nelsons Blood review by the fat rum pirateI would love to give a few tasting notes on the Pusser’s 15 but I’m finding that with each visit I’m finding something more.  There are few rums which can exhibit so many different facets of the various rum styles but Pusser’s 15 is one of them.  The only common trait in rum which I cannot really detect with this rum is oakiness.  It has the sweetness of an El Dorado Demerara and the tread carefully” menace of a Caroni, it has deep fruity “funk” of a Jamaican.  Okay I’ll give it shot…..

Caramely treacly toffee, Juicy pineapple, dark bruised banana, sweet chocolate raisins all wrapped up in a still quite potent tasting spirit.  There is an underlying menace and despite the ageing still a lot of punch to this rum

Pusser’s 15 is a great rum.  Personally I still prefer the Blue Label and Gunpowder blends.  Whilst you can mix Pusser’s 15 I found that the Blue Label blend made a better rum and cola.  This is better as a sipper but again I have had slightly better sipping experiences in my time.  For my tastes it is possibly just a little bit too sweet.

However, it is still a lot better than rums such as Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, Ron Zacapa and a few other of the sweetened “Premium” rums.  It’s still a rum well worth seeking out and trying.

4 stars

 

 

 

 

 

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